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POOR SANITATION POSES HEALTH HAZARD IN GHANA

For people in the western world such as Europe and North America, it is a matter of course to have a flushing toilet and running water in their home. There are washrooms at your workplace. In addition, when you are away from home you will find some facilities in restaurants, shops, gas stations or anywhere else. There might be a few summerhouses in the woods of northern Sweden who still have their drop toilets behind the house, but those are the exceptions.

 

In Ghana, the situation is significantly different. In the larger cities, some private homes have running water and flushing toilets. However, even in the office buildings in downtown Cape Coast you will not find such facilities. Every now and then you can see a man urinating in the ditch near the roads which is not only uncommon in the first world but people can also be fined in several countries for „peeing in the public“. Moreover, it gets even worse when you come to the rural areas of Ghana.

 

One example is Moree, a fishing town of roughly 2000, a few miles west of Cape Coast. In Moree, none of the fisher's huts has running water. All the villagers have to claim their water from a hand full of fountains throughout the town and bring it home in buckets.

Therefore, with no continuous water supply and no canalisation system there are no private toilets either. All they have in Moree are a few public facilities.

There are three flushing toilet facilities around town. The fee is 10 p per use. Once they are filled up, they will be emptied by a truck, which approximately takes one day.

Somewhere near the beach there are also drop toilets, one men's and one women's site. Instead of using those facilities, some people even decide to just let it run down at the beach. At the end of the day, it does not really make a difference because the faeces from the drop toilets will be washed away by the sea, too. To make it even worse is the fact that people also wash in the sea without soap or any other sanitizer.

Although there is a company called Zoil who for a monthly charge of 50 GHC clean up the beach every morning, it is not very hard to imagine that this lack of hygiene can cause serious health problems.

 

Just recently, there has been an outbreak of Cholera in Ghana again. By March 18th, 2011 there were be around 4000 cases reported of which 60 were fatal which 482 new cases just last week. While Ghana capital Accra has been hit the worst, there are already four regions, one of them being the Central Region, affected by the disease.

Joseph Amankwah of the Ghana Health Service said,

“This is a major outbreak. It’s a major concern,” and “Cases are on the increase. … We need to address the risk factors aggressively.” (Source: Reuters).

Cholera is a bacterial disease spread by contaminated water and food. If caught early can be easily treated by oral rehydration fluids. If not treated, it can kill in hours.

“I wouldn’t say it’s out of control but it’s alarming so we need to step up preventive efforts,” said Sally Ohene from the World Health Organisation.

 

Poor environmental sanitation is, next to poor access to potable water and open drainages, one of the major risk factors supporting the spread of Cholera and other diseases.

With all this in mind and a real health threat knocking on our door right, know it is not hard to imagine that it is mandatory to have major improvements in the Ghanaian sanitarian system. Because that is critical to control the outbreak of Cholera and will be the most effective way to prevent the epidemic from spreading faster and claiming more lives. - 

 

Posted by Central Press Newspaper 

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Ghana, officially the Republic of Ghana, is a sovereign unitary presidential constitutional democracy, located along the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean, in the subregion of West Africa. Spanning a land mass of 238,535 km2, Ghana is bordered by the Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, Togo in the east and the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean in the south. The word Ghana means "Warrior King" in the Soninke language.

The territory of present-day Ghana has been inhabited for millennia, with the first permanent state dating back to the 11th century. Numerous kingdoms and empires emerged over the centuries, of which the most powerful was the Kingdom of Ashanti.[11] Beginning in the 15th century, numerous European powers contested the area for trading rights, with the British ultimately establishing control of the coast by the late 19th century. Following over a century of native resistance, Ghana's current borders were established by the 1900s as the British Gold Coast. In 1957, it became the first sub-saharan African nation to declare independence from European colonisation.

A multicultural nation, Ghana has a population of approximately 27 million, spanning a variety of ethnic, linguistic and religious groups.[5] Five percent of the population practices traditional faiths, 71.2% adhere to Christianity and 17.6% are Muslim. Its diverse geography and ecology ranges from coastal savannahs to tropical jungles. Ghana is a democratic country led by a president who is both head of state and head of the government. Ghana's economy is one of the strongest and most diversified in Africa, following a quarter century of relative stability and good governance.[15] Ghana's growing economic prosperity and democratic political system has made it a regional power in West Africa.[16] It is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Group of 24 (G24) and the Commonwealth of Nations.

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Description:

According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), students from the “South” and in specific African countries (south of the Sahara) are very mobile, with one in 16 studying abroad. Most of them go to western European countries like Germany. Despite the often very challenging situations experienced by “Southern” students abroad, many graduates go on to hold important positions in their home countries – including those who have studied in Germany and Europe at large. However, there is also a remarkable number of African graduates who remain in Europe after completing their studies, a phenomenon known as BRAIN-DRAIN. One reason for this is: Bad Governance in their home countries. The connections between BRAIN-DRAIN, BRAIN-GAINand GOOD & BAD GORVERNANCE therefore need to be addressed in the international discourse in development politics.

CLEAN-AFRICA and AGGN are holding for the second time a BRAIN-GAIN Conference on the topic: “The Future of the African Child” in view of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a target group of graduates and postgraduates students, academia and researchers with interest in sustainable development in Africa or in the general “South”.

The Conference aims at:

  • Providing an open Discourse about the Status-Quo regarding Child Security in Africa (Health, Educational opportunities, Water & Food and Environmental & Social security. Through Workshops and Presentations elucidate the inadequate Child Security Situations, its Causes and Implications as well examine the depth of the new SDG’s towards ensuring Child Security
  • The Program will showcase examples of “southern” experts and in particular from Africa, who have acquired knowledge and skills in Germany and are drawing on them in developing their home countries. Also it offers Students the opportunity not only to engage in dialogue and Network but also to raise awareness among “Southern” students and alumni of their individual potential to contribute to the development of their home countries.

 

The conference will focus on the current social, economic and political situation. It will provide advice on how BRAIN-GAIN can be a possible remedy to Child Insecurity and showcase some positive contributions made by the Diaspora. Additional presentation of; existing North-South Development Cooperation Programmes and Job/Scholarship/Grant Opportunities in the new UN-African Year of Development will also be made.

Organizers and Partners: The African Good Governance Network in Conjunction with CLEAN-AFRICA e.V. and Partners.

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Parliament without Barriers: Kick-off for Barrier-free Concepts in Ghana (PAMBA Ghana), is an integrated project with a vision to address and discuss the basic principles of and the need for universally usable, barrier-free environments beginning at the Parliament House of Ghana. According to a report by the United Nations (2003), we all are physically disabled at some point in our lives.

Children, persons with broken legs, parents with prams, elderly persons, just to mention, are all disabled in one way or another. People who remain healthy and able-bodied all their lives are few. Therefore as far as the built environment is concerned, it is important that it should be barrier-free and also adapted to fulfil the needs of all people equally.

 

 BACKGROUND

CLEAN-AFRICA e.V. in conjunction with African Good Governance Network - West Africa, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology-Ghana, Central University College - Ghana and Frankfurt University of Applied Science undertaking the PAMBA Ghana project invited applications from students in built Environment Programs, engineering and creative Arts to participate in a workshop for the above mentioned project. ... a vision to address and discuss the basic principles of and the need for universally usable, barrier-free environments beginning at the Parliament House of Ghana.

 

 OBJECTIVES

PAMBA Ghana aims to:

  • Provide general guidance on creating barrier-free built environments for everyone including persons with disabilities.
  • Provide additional guidance materials for Architects, Planners, Building Officials, Barrier Free Assessors and others with an interest in creating universal usable, barrier free built environments.
  • Provide the basic building codes which include aspects for persons with disabilities who may access them nationwide.
  • Serve as a tool for measurement and auditing of accessibility of public spaces and facilities in Ghana.

CLEAN GHANA

Trinity House, Opposite Police Headquarters, Accra, Ghana

Email: info@clean-ghana.org

Tel:: +233-302-763-845

Webistewww.clean-ghana.org